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Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Spotlight Session: Young People + Climate Action

November 4, 2021 @ 12:00 am

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (sometimes called ‘The Global Goals’) are a collection of independent but inter connected goals, designed to give all of us on our planet a better future , with targets geared towards a date of 2030.

The Spotlight Sessions will bring together a range of voices, to explore the ways young people are contributing to the #decadeofaction that leads up to 2030.

Never before has the world faced such an existential threat as it does right now. Young people are taking a leading role in the battle to reverse climate change, yet they will also be one of the Generations to see the biggest challenges emerge from it. Join us as we bring together a panel of environmental experts and young climate champions, to explore examples of climate action being taken by the youth of today.

This session spotlights sustainable development goal 13 – Climate action.


Session Moderator

Francisca Martinez, Deputy Chief of Staff, USC Schwarzenegger Institute
Francisca Martinez is the Deputy Chief of Staff to former State Senator and University of Southern California (USC) Schwarzenegger Institute Environmental Policy Director, Fran Pavley. Francisca assists Senator Pavley with the planning and implementation of all climate and environment related initiatives at the Schwarzenegger Institute. Francisca also manages the Digital Environmental Legislative Handbook, an easy to use toolkit state legislators can use to replicate successful climate legislation passed in states across the country. In addition to her work with Senator Pavley, Francisca supports the Schwarzenegger’s Institute’s other areas of focus including political reform and education. Francisca earned a B.S in Environmental Science from University of California Los Angeles.


Madeleine Bouton
Madeleine (she/they) is the US Manager at blueEnergy, an organization working to unlock access to renewable energy, safe water, sanitation, hygiene, and regenerative food security in the face of a changing climate. Madeleine is also a member of the Sunrise Movement, a youth-led climate justice organization working to stop the climate crisis, in her hometown of Nashville, Tennessee. Madeleine earned her B.A. and M.A. from Stanford University, studying climate ethics and environmental communication in the School of Earth, Energy, and Environmental Sciences, and is passionate about uniting climate action through stories, language, and art.

Brianna Simmons
Brianna (she/her/hers) is a Marine Biology major at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island USA. She holds a Bronze, Silver, and Gold Award from The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Bermuda. In the Award she also serves as an Award Leader helping other young people find their purpose, passion, and place in the world and recently was elected Alumni Co-chair on the Council Board initiating a countrywide event, the Alumni Olympics. Her studies and activism have centred on aquaculture, microplastics in the North Atlantic gyre, and wetland preservation.

Shanjeevan Amalanathan
If Shanjeevan had his choice, he would have gills instead of lungs. He spends as much time as he can scuba diving and blowing bubbles. When he’s on land you can find Shanjeevan working on a range of innovative projects that aim to engage, entertain, and educate people about the ocean. He co-founded OceanBiome, a community of talents with a focus on ocean research to map the path to engaging in ocean protection to enable the next generation of leaders to engage in ocean literacy and stewardship to become ocean ambassadors in Sri Lanka. He is a member of the Sustainable Development Goals Children’s Parliament – The world’s first such parliament and was also a divisional goal coordinator for the UN Sustainable Development Goals Youth Council. He wants to create a world where the ocean doesn’t need protection.

Jason Pang
Jason (he/him/his) is currently a 3rd-year student at the University of British Columbia (UBC) studying his Bachelor of Science in Global Resource Systems. Within his studies, Jason specializes in corporate sustainability and the Pacific Rim region. He is passionate about educating new immigrants on climate-related issues such as energy conservation, waste diversion, and the science behind global warming. Currently, Jason is the AVP Sustainability for Alma Mater Society, the student union for UBC. He sits on various climate action-related committees such as UBC’s 2030 Climate Action Plan and the University Climate Emergency Fund. His main focus is to calculate the organization’s GHG Inventory and develop ways to create a 5-year GHG Reduction & Management Plan.

Charis Hill
Charis is passionate about the pursuit of environmental change. After attending the Passion to Purpose Forum in 2019, an initiative by The Award in Canada, she has dedicated her spare time to climate activism, teaching others how to live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle with a focus on tailoring this lifestyle to individuals’ unique living experiences. She has worked with Advocate! Conference, Canada’s Modern Advocacy Conference, in 2019, and participated in Dreaming Climate Consciousness, a workshop creating a fictional narrative around issues of climate change to bring new awareness to this ever-growing issue. She is dedicated to educating others how they can make the world a greener place through unconventional methods.


November 4, 2021
12:00 am